The Lie that Brought Down Boris Johnson

Joseph Yossarian
5 min readAug 18, 2022

A fib too far for our Pinocchio PM, but some want him to return

Photo of a demonstration that features a placard depicting Boris Johnson as a clown.
Bye-bye Boris ( Photo by Jannes Van den wouwer on Unsplash)

Here in merrie England, the two horse race to become the next prime minister drags wearily on amid unprecedented scenes of party disharmony. In all my years, I’ve never before seen two MPs from the same stable, who are vying for the nation’s top political post, no less, going flat out on live TV, to tell us all what a sorry state the country is in after twelve years of rule by their own party. The exchanges were manna from heaven for the opposition parties, and they will resurface ad-infinitum in the run up to the next election.

The list of potential successors was whittled down from eight to the final two, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, and the Conservative party membership will vote for one or the other to become prime minister on September 5th. But, amid the wrangling and infighting, there have been calls for a third name to be added to that final ballot. That casual liar, the outgoing PM himself.

Boris Johnson’s track record in telling fibs is somewhat akin to FC Barcelona’s record on winning LaLiga. He is a serial philanderer, whose lies and betrayals have cost him relationships and jobs. That such a Billy Liar type was ever elevated to the top job in British politics astounded some, angered others, but delighted many.

Buffoonery

His tousled hair and stammering buffoonery were all part of a carefully rehearsed public persona that appealed to a large section of voters. He was elected with an enormous majority, and so his tenure in Downing Street should have been a lengthy one (indeed, just before his ignominious fall from grace, he had predicted serving three terms in the top job). But he just couldn’t stop telling those fibs.

Johnson’s premiership was always going to be a controversial one, and it soon lived up to that billing. When Covid 19 broke, he went on national TV to state that it might be best for everyone if we let the virus work its way through the population, much to the outrage of those who had vulnerable or elderly loved ones. He also boasted that he’d shaken hands with patients on a Covid ward. Soon after this, he came down with that same illness, so badly he required time in intensive care.

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Joseph Yossarian

Freelance writer and blogger from the north-east coast of England, specialising in true crime, childhood memories and whatever takes my fancy.